On the 21st of June, my fellow interns, Karen, Rhonda, her son Gilbert and I went to see the Rodin art exhibit. Besides the art that was displayed, I read a quote on one of the walls of the exhibit that struck me: Nous sommes des ouvriers dont la journée ne finit jamais (”We are workers whose day never ends”). Though Rodin’s words speak of sculptors, I thought of the continuous work that is done by a stand-up comic. Moreover I thought of the life of a Christian. Paul wrote to Timothy these words, ”That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe”(1 Ti 4:10 NIV). Paul tells Timothy to point out to his brothers and sisters in Christ the unsound doctrines that were being taught in their time (v.1-6). And to be able to do that does require work in preparing oneself in order to teach others. Yet such labor and strife is produced due to the hope in the living God that Paul, Timothy and the Christians of their time had.
This past Sunday I did some stand-up comedy at Yuk Yuk along with other amateur comics and professionals. I recorded my performance and was able to listen to it when I got home. Before I went home, I was encouraged by Ali, the host, to keep on doing stand-up. I got to speak and congratulate most of the comics that did their set. One Asian comic really saw that I looked like Chris Rock and asked if I actually knew him. I joked around telling him that I would give false signatures to people that would meet me (I would get sued I bet by Mr. Rock), take pictures with people and tell them I’m Chris Rock or simply write to the guy and ask if I could be his double for a movie. I was even able to tell him that I don’t come to do stand-up regularly, but that I did it due to the internship I am a part of. In addition to that, I told him that I did stand-up comedy on and off and had three years in theatre training. He was a bit pushed back by what I told him and put on a face that seemed like he be cautious with me. Soon after, l left the comedy club with a Japanese friend of mine that I had invited to the show. We got to speak with each other and catch up with what has been going on in our lives. I was happy to see him because he had to take a plane back to Japan the same week (on June 30th I think).
As I went towards the spot of the metro cart to wait for the next ride home, I greeted a young black men and we started conversing. I told him I came from doing stand-up comedy. He of course was happy to speak to me about comedy and shared with me his favorite comics and how he would not be a good stand-up comic. He’d rather be the guy backstage. When we got into the metro I told him that I was a Christian and told him one of my jokes and also told him that I did not want to make people laugh for laughter’s sake, but to share truth about my Christian belief. He appreciated what I had to say and before he left he said, ”I believe in destiny. We will see each other again.” I in return gave him a gospel tract and he left with a smile reading it.
Upon taking a bus to go home, I spoke with a DJ and we discussed about the type of hip-hop we like. I shared two refrains from two pieces that I have written. I shared a refrain in French and the other in English. He recognized that I was reading the book the Humor of Christ by Elton Trueblood. He was surprised to found out the Christ had a sense of humor. This conversation gave me the opportunity of talking about the fall of humanity and the hope found in believing in Jesus’ death and resurrection. I told him that this good news is still believed in by people and I was one of them. I told him my name and he told me his. Sadly, I have not been able to find him on Facebook. Oh well…
I truly thank God for these opportunities to share my belief with others. In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul tells the Ephesians to put on the armor of God. One of the things that is mentioned by Paul is having feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (15). I hope Christians will wear the armor of God daily and be ready to confront the struggles of life through the hope they have in Jesus the Christ. So being battle ready and depending on God’s grace, may we continue to labor and strive for the sake of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus the Christ, whether it is through doing stand-up or conversing with strangers – all because of the hope we have in the living God who is the Savior of all people and especially of those who believe.